My unhelpful answer is that it passes on their 3rd birthday - at which point it becomes the terrible threes.
Usual advice goes: - make sure they're not overtired or hungry - pick your battles - communicate so that you aren't springing things on them - avoid flashpoints if you can - praise good behaviour - put yourself in timeout if you can feel yourself getting worked up. Return to the child/problem when you're feeling a bit calmer
If I ever find out when it ends I'll let you know.
Yesterday was one of those days you feel like selling them off on Ebay, hence the thread start! Today was much better and I feel much more positive at the prospect of having this stage go on another year or two ..
From previous experience based on 1 older DD, I expect a year of challenging behaviour, gradually improving by the time he turns 3. <<Battens down hatches and prepares for a long long winter>>.
- your DS will drive you mad wanting to do all sorts of inconvenient things. Unless its dangerous, antisocial or you REALLY have no time, your default answer should be to let him do them, even if it means it takes you 30 mins to walk 100 yards or you have to climb on two chairs to get the salad spinner down for him. If you try to say yes generally, they get less frustrated generally. And if you say no you will only have to spend more time managing the howling afterwards, you may as well say yes from the outset! A child who feels he has influence in the world is a happier child.
- don't let him get hungry or tired.
- don't make battles over food. When he is 3 or 4, then you can start insisting that he tries at least a spoon of sprouts otherwise no pudding. No point doing this with a 2 year old.
- make sure he gets exercise outside at least once a day.
- don't worry when he just giggles when you tell him off. When he is a bit bigger, he will be old enough to feel remorse etc. Not yet though; doesn't mean you are raising a sociopath.
- if he is moaning and whingey, reading books together is a great calming activity that can improve his mood as it is quiet and you also give him your full attention.